Royal Gunpowder Mills

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Set in 170 acres of natural parkland and boasting 20 buildings of major historic importance, the site mixes fascinating history, exciting science and beautiful surroundings to produce a magical day out for all the family. Established in the 17th century and acquired by the Crown in 1787, the Royal Gunpowder Mills has a very important place in both the history of Great Britain and of its home town of Waltham Abbey.

Venue Type:

Science centre, Museum

Opening hours

Please see website for details.

Admission charges

Please see website for details.


  • English Heritage
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
a photograph showing he contents of a 1940s shop

1940s Exhibition

  • 1 January 0200 — 1 January 2020 *on now

Explore war-time life with reconstructions from the 1940s. Experience the sights and sounds as you step inside an Anderson air-raid shelter, peek into a war-time kitchen, and toy shop, and browse in a 1940s general store.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Sundays At The Royal Gunpowder Mills

  • 10 June — 15 July 2018 *on now

Come and enjoy a relaxing Sunday at the Royal Gunpowder Mills with 20% off the standard admission fee for selected Sundays.

This offer applies to June 10, June 17, June 24, July 1, July 8 and July 15 only

Set in 170 acres of extraordinary landscape and unique buildings, this is a fascinating place for all, and at such a price there has never been a better time to explore!

For families we have the fantastic Mad Lab show delighting children of all ages where Professor Nitrate creates chaos setting of bangs, crashes and fizzes! Join the Professor’s assistant each Sunday and get hands on with the activity of the day – Get a taster of what’s to come during Professor Nitrate’s Summer of Science!

For adult visitors, the Royal Gunpowder Mills has over 300 years of history to explore. There is the acclaimed Armoury with a comprehensive collection of firearms from the Civil War onwards, and the Rocket Vault - both with enthusiastic guides at hand, some who worked here when it was a top secret research establishment.

For a nominal fee, take the Land Train tour with experienced guides taking you to hidden parts of the site, a Scheduled Monument and an SSSI, rich in history and diversity of wildlife habitats. Watch out for deer and other wildlife! And throughout the day the Gunpowder Café serves great food. .

Tickets can be purchased on the day or through our Eventbrite page.

Please note that due to wildlife protection, no animals are allowed onsite, with the exception of certified Assistance Dogs.

All details correct at publication. The 20% offer is only valid on the dates shown above, therefore excludes Sundays of special events such as – Professor Nitrate’s Summer of Science, Dr Gore’s Spooky Mad Lab and Guy Fawkes Festival. The Sunday special offer cannot be claimed in conjunction with any other discount offer or voucher.

Suitable for

  • Any age


20% off standard admission. Check Website For Details



Professor Nitrate's Summer Of Science

  • 22 July — 29 August 2018

The Mad Lab which is home to Professor Nitrate and the team of assistants there are interactive science shows for all the family to enjoy, throughout the day there is also opportunity to trial some cool gadgets and gizmos plus get hands on with experiments which you can take home to show off to all your friends.

The Rocket Room & Launch Pad is where you can test your skills as a rocket engineer! Make and launch your very own Air Powered Rocket, design rockets for space missions and trail our Rocket Cars plus Rail Rockets!

The Creative Space is where you can ignite your inventiveness with such activities on offer as T Shirt Printing, Story Writing, Painting and lots of other fun Arts & Crafts.

The Test Range gives older children the opportunity to test their skills and hit as many targets as possible using our BB Guns.

Adults and children alike can learn about the fantastic history of our site which is infused in the science of explosions and propulsion. View the site on a guided land train our, visit our award winning and interactive exhibition and armoury plus explore the site on foot and visit the “Burning Ground” and “Wildlife Tower”.

Professor Nitrate’s Summer of Science takes place every Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday between July 22 and August 29. Tickets can be purchased on the door or purchased online via our Eventbrite page.

Visit our website for more information or follow us on social media @gunpowdermills

Suitable for

  • 0-4
  • 5-6
  • 7-10
  • 11-13


£10.50 - Adults
£8.50 - Children
£9.00 - Concessions


Royal Gunpowder Mills
Beaulieu Drive
Waltham Abbey



General enquiries



01992 707370

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.